The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

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Welcoming the ten accession states

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: THURSDAY, 29TH APRIL 2004

Welcoming the ten accession states

The Bruges Group welcomed the former Communist states ten years ago, when they re-joined Europe in the way it really mattered: by throwing off the Communist yoke and establishing liberal democracies. We have consistently welcomed and supported their efforts to develop both political and economic freedom and advocated that Western Europe should follow their example and liberalise the stagnant economy of dirigisme. We have criticised the European Union for its continuing refusal to reform its own ideas and to create a free-trading area with the countries that needed our support.

We take no pleasure at all in welcoming the countries that more than ten years ago courageously defeated Communism into another, though not so oppressive, supranational, centralised, over-regulated, over-bureaucratised state.

It is clear from the low turn-out in most of the referendums in the East European countries that many of the people there have little real regard for what they have been forced to enter by a combination of political circumstances and blatantly applied pressure on the part of the rich West.

Mr Blair writes in Le Monde that the new entrants will energise the European Union and help it to modernise. Mr Blair should be asking himself why he needs countries that suffered for fifty years under an oppressive political and economic regime and have had only ten years of real freedom, to modernise and energise the sclerotic European Union. And he should ask himself whether the constitution he is so determined to push through, which is the opposite of everything that is modern, dynamic, free and liberal is the way forward for Britain, for the EU or for its new entrants.

- ENDS -

- NOTES TO EDITORS -
Bruges Group representatives are available for interviews and quotes

The Bruges Group has a special section of our website dedicated to providing Comment and Analysis on the EU Constitution. The URL is www.brugesgroup.com/euconstitution